Obituary: Sister Anne Gaffigan, CSJ

Sister Anne Gaffigan, CSJ (Sister Joan Charles), 85, died Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 65 years.

Sister Anne was born on Jan. 9, 1933, in Hudson, N.Y., daughter of the late William and Mary Butts Gaffigan. After graduating from St. Columba’s High School in Schenectady, she worked for two years as a clerk and apprentice pharmacist at Albert’s Drugs in Schenectady. On March 19, 1953, Sister Anne entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, N.Y.; she professed final vows on Aug. 15, 1960. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education, both from The College of Saint Rose.

For the first 15 years of her life as a Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Anne taught at St. Paul’s School, Binghamton; St. Joseph’s School, Troy; and St. Francis de Sales School, Herkimer where she also was the principal. During the next 12 years, Sister Anne served as a special education teacher at the School for the Disabled, later to be known as the Center for Disabilities Services/Kevin G. Langan School. For the past 37 years, she was purchasing coordinator for the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Sister Anne was a no-fuss-no-frills woman of faith, straightforward and determined, strong of mind and large of heart. As an elementary and special education teacher, she was organized, capable, affirming, challenging, and compassionate, always conscious that she might directly impact other lives during their most influential and formative years. As a purchaser, Sister Anne was strategic, loyal, knowledgeable, and proactive, clear in communicating and skilled in negotiating. Whether working with teachers, parents, students, or business clients, Sister Anne used her sense of humor as a universal language, and her patience and tenacity provided often-needed creative solutions. Sister Anne’s dedication to St. Joseph directed her work ethic, and her devotion to Mary guided her wholehearted love of God.

Sister Anne is survived by three brothers: John, Joseph, and Rev. William Gaffigan; by her nephew and nieces: William (Stacie) Sorel, Mary (Louis) Walsh, Melissa Sorel, and Maureen (Scott) Trefethen and their families; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Anne was predeceased by her sister, Mary Gaffigan Sorel, and her brothers Robert and Rev. Charles Gaffigan.

Sister Anne’s Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 10:30 a.m. in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Calling hours will be held 4-7 p.m. at the Provincial House on Tuesday, Sept. 11, with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Contributions in Sister Anne’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet Shaker Road, Latham, N.Y., 12110.